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2018 State of the Region

Originally Published in the December 2018 edition of the Kansas Messenger
Written by Regional Ministers Steve Martin & Ken Marston

It is good to be in Kansas! We are constantly amazed at the level of commitment and vision in our church leaders, and their generosity in sharing with the wider church. The Kansas Region is known for being a strong Regional Church: strong camp and youth program, excellent leadership development, ministries with women and men and the list goes on!

Kelly Gindlesberger, pastor at Shelton Memorial Christian Church in Ulysses and current Regional Moderator, explains our 2019 General Fund deficit this way:

If we wish to continue benefiting from a strong Regional Church, we, collectively, have to fund the Region on a more sustainable basis. Again, there are two ways to deal with budget shortfalls; increase income and/or cut spending. The spending side of the equation is under scrutiny as part of the Region Re-visioning process…,”

The Kansas Region has three basic sources of income:

  1. DMF Offering dollars, often called outreach, from congregations, of which 52% are shared with the ministries of the church beyond Kansas
  2. The Annual Fund, where churches and individuals give to the Operating Fund
  3. The Christmas Offering, one of the six special offerings each year. 100% of the Christmas offering given by Kansas churches supports the work of our Kansas Region.

As important and relevant as this is, we don’t want anyone to think that the regional ministries of the church are all about money. Just the opposite is true! Consider these regional ministries:

 

Search and Call:

Each year Kansas congregations search for ministerial leadership. In 2018 so far, 24 of these took place, and a few are still underway. Each search involves many calls and resumes to review, and references to contact. Calling a new pastor is a significant effort!

 

Commission on Ministry:

Our Commission on Ministry supervises and credentials over 150 clergy across Kansas. Most are serving congregations; some are chaplains or in other ministries, and some are retired.

The region has given out more than $6,000 in scholarships to seminary students, have been caring for 10 commissioned ministers and 6 ordination candidates.

Every month seven different clergy cluster meetings occur to build collegiality, provide encouragement and support for congregational ministers to sustain long term ministries.

 

Crisis Management & Congregational Transformation

Congregational crisis management is significant. The Regional Ministers are ready to help, seeking to find reconciliation among church members when there is an issue.

With the help of a $25,000 grant from the Kansas Leadership Center and a $20,000 grant from the Kansas Bible Chair, the region has supported leadership training for clergy and laity in attending 41 different training sessions in adaptive leadership skills. We have received a second grant for 2019.

Finally, districts through out the region had their own leadership training events bringing speakers from the General Church in Indianapolis to discuss how they can transform their congregations.

 

Mission & Acts of Service

Mission is essential. Within the region we encourage and help with mission trips to various places, including Nicaragua, Denver, South Texas and more.

 

Faith Formation & Spiritual Growth

Faith formation and spiritual growth programs touch many lives: summer camp, retreats for men, women and specialized groups such as Bethany groups for clergy, workshops, seminars, and clergy support groups.

Two times a year, 15 clergy meet for self-run clergy spiritual retreats at the Heartland Center for spirituality and once a year the Annual Spiritual retreat is an opportunity for clergy and church leaders to strengthen their relationship with God and learn about the spiritual journey that nurtures Christian faith.

In 2018, Kansas Disciples Men began emphasizing mission. The cabinet spent some time helping the Sawyer Christian Church repair their building after a fire. The men’s “Cooking for Missions” events raised over $2,000 with half going to ministries addressing the problem of childhood hunger in Kansas. The other half was sent to the General Conference of Disciples Men for supporting nutrition programs for children around the country.

This year the traditional Men’s retreat and Odyssey experiences were held back to back on the same weekend. The Odyssey retreat continues to cast the vision for men to take the journey of developing Christ-like character in themselves and the teenagers in their lives.

The Kansas Region is strong, and still there is room for growth. Currently, the Regional Board is working with a Vision Task Force to help shape the next generation of regional ministry. And in this post-religion age we all want to know how to be an effective part of the Body of Christ in this time.

Your entire regional staff join together, sharing ministry together, and looking for ways to better serve in the name of Christ. We cherish our partnership with each congregation. Share your ideas anytime!

 

Christmas Special Day Offering

December 16 & 23, congregations across the US and Canada will gather the Christmas Offering, designated for support of their region.

Here in Kansas, the Christmas offering supports the breadth of ministries that make up the Christian Church in Kansas, including:

  • Prayers and presence for your congregation in searching for a new pastor and in other times of crisis
  • Support during transition and change
  • Youth and young adult ministries including the variety of summer camps and year-round retreats
  • Disciples women’s and men’s ministries
  • Clergy support, training, and certification; Clergy and church leadership workshops and training

Your generosity makes a difference to many!

Marcia McFee’s Worship Design Studio

With support from Kansas Bible Chair, we are launching a 1-year partnership with Dr. Marcia McFee of Worship Design Studio to help congregations renew worship skills through a subsidized subscription to the Worship Design Studio. 

REGISTRATION STILL AVAILABLE! 
Did you miss the September sign-up?  Still want to get involved in this wonderful opportunity? 
Follow the steps below and register today.  Hurry! This offer closes December 31.

Dr. Marcia McFee

Dr. Marcia McFee virtually becomes a part of your worship team inside this groundbreaking website, resourcing you with over 60 worship series–complete with ideas for every week, every worship art. AND there are now several fully-scripted series for Advent and Lent that offer step-by-step help so that your volunteers and congregation can experience the richness of using all the worship arts. Podcasts, webinars, live coaching series, articles and video lessons provide unlimited members from your church with everything needed to take worship to the next level. 

With a special discount from Worship Design Studio and a grant from the Kansas Bible Chair, you will be able to have access to all of the Worship Design Studio materials and special sessions with Dr. McFee for 50% off what other churches pay for a year subscription to Worship Design Studio. 

$149 per church for one year
(that’s the price of a cup of coffee per week… if this is a strain on your worship budget, contact your regional minister to apply for further scholarship money)

 

How to Sign-up:

Þ Step 1: Go to www.worshipdesignstudio.com/wdshome 

Þ Step 2: Click on “Subscribe Here”

Þ Step 3: Fill out your information

Þ Step 4: When you get to the shopping cart page, enter promo code (Contact regional office for code)

Þ Step 5: Complete your purchase

Þ Step 6: Check your e-mail for instructions! That’s it!

 

Will you be our Friend?

One of our goals  as your communications office is to foster and build friendships throughout the region.  You can help!

  1. Sign-up for the Kansas Messenger. Update your contact information here.
  2. Go to our website and check out the Life Giving & Life Changing Stories page. Share a story about how God has moved in your life.
  3. Like us on Facebook @ChristianChurchInKansas. Pick a day or two and share with others.

 

Facebook Daily Post Topics:

While Facebook features “Thursday Throwback Days” we have established our very own lineup:

  • Sermon Sunday
    Tell us about your Sunday sermon.  What did you learn? What inspired you? What challenged you?
  • Motivational Monday
    Mondays can be hard.  Mondays can be stressful. Share something positive in your life.  Share something that made you smile this week. How do you deal with the stress?
  • Testimony Tuesday
    God is all around us and works through each of us.  Share a God siting from this week.  Where did you see God at work in your life?
  •  Wednesday Word
    Scripture has many purposes.  Share a verse that is on your heart this week.  What is your favorite verse?   What verse inspires you? What verse is challenging you this week?
  • Thankful Thursday
    We are blessed with many things.  Share 3 things you are thankful for that happened this week.  Challenge: think of three different things each week.
  • Friendship Friday
    We are all friends here in CCK. Let’s get to know each other a little better.  Share your name, church, and something unique about you. Challenge: think of something different each week.
  • Selfie Saturday
    Stop to enjoy the little things in life.  Take a selfie with your friends or family (or even your pets) and share what you are doing today.

 

Life Giving & Life Changing

It’s important for others to know how God has moved in your life.  Your story may be the encouraging words that one of your brothers or sisters need to hear.

The Christian Church in Kansas would like to share your story.  Submit your story in the comments below.  Your voice is important and so is your story.

Thanksgiving Special Day Offering

From the very beginnings of the movement, Disciples have founded institutions of higher learning, encouraging students in their intellectual pursuits. Currently, over 50,000 students attend our 14 Disciples related colleges and universities or seven seminaries and divinity houses.

On November 11 and 18, Disciples churches like yours will collect the Thanksgiving offering. Your gift to the Thanksgiving offering helps to support the work of our institutions of higher learning in many ways: financially supporting Disciples related schools, providing undergraduate scholarships and support for spiritual life offices, and providing scholarships and support for those pursuing theological education.

Disciples Colleges, Universities and Seminaries:

This November, give generously to this year’s Thanksgiving offering. Your gifts make a world of difference as Disciples continue our legacy of supporting education and our institutions of higher learning.

KLC Partnership Grants renewed for 2nd year

Do you want to learn how to transform your congregation?

For the second year in a row, our region has a marvelous opportunity: 40 training slots in the leadership training programs offered by Kansas Leadership Center in Wichita. If you want to make progress on something you care about, grow your leadership skills, aid your congregation and the region in addressing the adaptive challenges we face then this training is for you.

Your church will benefit most by sending teams of 3-4, one of whom is probably your pastor. You will also benefit by identifying a challenge on which you want to make progress. Plan to focus 90 days on the process: pre-work, the training and its application, beginning 21 days before your event.

In addition to congregational teams, CCK plans to send interested staff, moderators, and other regional leaders. Training sessions fill fast and registration early in the year is encouraged.

The KLC Partnership Grant pays tuition only. In November the CCK Executive Committee will consider a recommendation from the Kansas Bible Chair Task Force for a grant to reimburse books, housing, and meals for those who take part. The CCK Moderator team, in consultation with regional staff, will review grant applications and select participants.

Training Programs:

Your Leadership Edge – A three-day training for anyone who wants to lead more and get better This is offered monthly from February through November.

2019 Program Dates:

February 6-8
March 6-8
April 3-5
May 1-3
June 5-7
July 10-12
August 7-9
September 11-13
October 2-4
November 6-8

Lead for Change is designed for individuals called to lead others through tough situations. Perfect for pastors and church leaders working to guide or influence change. There are three opportunities for this training throughout the year. This training has 3 phases:

  • Four-day training at KLC in Wichita (Session 1)
  • Three months of Individual coaching and on-line learning
  • Three-day training at KLC Wichita (Session 2)
2019 Program Dates:

Cohort 1 – Session 1: February 19-22, Session 2: May 7-9
Cohort 2 – Session 1: April 23-26, Session 2: July 17-19
Cohort 3 – Session 1: September 17-20, Session 2: November 19-21

Equip to Lead – whether you are a pastor or church leader this training will give you the essential skills you need to build leadership in others. Practice and receive feedback as you learn to communicate key leadership concepts tailored to your congregation in this two-day program. There are four sessions.

2019 Program Dates:

March 20-21
June 19-20
August 21-22
October 16-17

How to Apply:

  1. Fill out a regional application — IndividualCongregational — and pay a $25 commitment fee.
  2. Consult with Regional Minister Ken Marston about training details and receive KLC Promo Code
  3. Follow e-mailed instructions from the region on how to register with Kansas Leadership Center, and arrange for securing books from regional staff.

Disciples Men Retreat & Odyssey Experience

Join men from across the region for Disciples Men Fall Retreat September 21-22 (Friday-Saturday) and/or Disciples Men Odyssey Experience September 22-23 (Saturday-Sunday) at Tawakoni.

An optional pre-event service project will begin at 10 a.m. Friday. You are encouraged to bring your tools and work gloves to work on the chapel prayer garden.

A pre-event golf tournament is also scheduled at Augusta Country Club at 1 p.m on Friday.  Extra costs apply. Golfing will be an extra expense. We need a minimum of four men to sign up by Sunday, September 2 to get tee times.

Registration opens at 5 p.m. Friday followed by dinner, opening worship, and first keynote session featuring Rev. Dr. Irvin W. Green, pastor of Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Kettering, OH.

In a ministerial career of 30 years, Green has served 10 congregations in 5 regions. He also served as the Director of Field Education at Lexington Theological Seminary. He is the Pastor Counselor for the General Council of Disciple Men, a role that he previously served in the Illinois/Wisconsin Region.

A fishing tournament at Santa Fe Lake at 3 p.m. on Saturday will act as a transition to the Men’s Odyssey Experience. Participants in the tournament will need a KS fishing license and their own fishing tackle.  Contact Lanny Norstrom for more information.

While originally conceived as a partnership journey for teen boys and their father figures, the vision for the Odyssey Project has grown to include any man who is tired of going through the motions of being a follower of Jesus.

Saturday night will feature the movie “When The Game Stands Tall” followed by discussion.  Other activities include a Sunday service project, making spirit bags, and challenge course.

Tentative Schedule

Friday
10:00  am – Pre-event Work Project
12:00  pm – Lunch
1:00  pm – Work Project or Golf Outing
5:00 pm – Registration
5:50 pm – Set-up for Dinner
6:00 pm – Grace & Dinner
6:45 pm – Singing
7:15 pm – Welcome/Community Building
8:00 pm – Session #1
9:00 pm – Break
9:30 pm – Campfire
10:15 pm – Fellowship

Saturday
7:30 am – Morning Devotions (Optional)
7:45 am – Set-up for Breakfast
8:00 am – Grace & Breakfast
8:45 am – Singing
9:00 am – Session #2
10:15 am – Break
10:30 am – Session #3
12:00 pm – Lunch
12:45 pm – Session #4
1:45 pm – Break
2:00 pm – Business Session
3:00 pm – Fishing Tournament

Odyssey Experience Begins

5:00 pm – Grace & Dinner (Pulled Pork/Chicken)
6:00 pm – Worship & Communion
6:30 pm – Odyssey Participants settle in the cabin
7:00 pm – The Odyssey Vision & Movie – When the Game Stands Tall
9:00 pm – Discussion of Movie
10:00 pm – Bedtime

Sunday
7:30 am – Cooking Breakfast Together
8:00 am – Grace & Breakfast
9:00 am – Morning Spiritual Exercise
10:00 am – Work Project/Making Spirit Bags; Ropes Course
12:00 pm Grace & Lunch
1:00 pm Reflections Upon Our Experience
2:00 pm Closing Worship & Challenge to Take Up the Odyssey

Register for all or part of the weekend.  First 10 registrations received from men 50 years of age or younger will have their registration fee refunded! Registration deadline is September 13.

Register online below or download a retreat registration form and mail with payment to Topeka Regional office, 2914 SW MacVicar, Topeka 66611. Make check payable to Christian Church in Kansas

NOTE: This charge will appear as some version of “SST*CHRISTIANCHUR840559 MOUNT VERNON OH” on your credit card statement.

Join UCC Partners in “A Just World for All”

Our partners in United Church of Christ Kansas-Oklahoma Conference invite you to come and hear keynote speaker, the Rev. Traci Blackmon, as she speaks on the theme, A Just World for All. 

Saturday, October 13
9 a.m.— 3:30 p.m.
Marriott Hotel, 9100 Corporate Hills Dr., Wichita

Blackmon, UCC Executive Minister of Justice and Local Church Ministries and Senior Pastor of Christ the King UCC in Florissant, Mo., is well known for her compassion and commitment to those often forgotten and excluded in the halls of power. Her communal leadership and work in the aftermath of the killing of Michael Brown, Jr., in Ferguson, Mo., has gained her both national and international recognition and audiences, from the White House to the Carter Center to the Vatican. She was named 2017 Citizen the Year by The St. Louis American and as one of St. Louis’ 100 most influential voices.

Engage in Conversations about:

  • The challenges of working for justice in the particular states of Kansas and Oklahoma.
  • Hear the story of how “everyday Moms” saw what was happening in Charlottesville and decided to “start something” in Hutchison; and how you can, too.
  • Taking a stand for justice is hard; how to overcome — or at least lessen — fear, and summon courage. So many issues, every single day; are you determined yet battle weary? Practicing self-care for the long haul.
  • Youth will have the opportunity for a time of engagement with Rev. Blackmon.

No promises of easy answers, but important conversations with others asking similar questions. 

After lunch, participate in a Plenary talk back with Rev. Blackmon and end the day in a worshipful sending forth. 

Registration of $40.00 includes breakfast and lunch (must commit to arriving by 8 a.m. for breakfast
sponsored by Phillips Theological Seminary); keynote begins at 9:30 a.m. 

CCK Partners with Worship Design Studio

With support from Kansas Bible Chair, we are launching a 1-year partnership with Dr. Marcia McFee of Worship Design Studio to help congregations renew worship skills through a subsidized subscription to the Worship Design Studio. Sign up before September 30.

Dr. Marcia McFee virtually becomes a part of your worship team inside this groundbreaking website, resourcing you with over 60 worship series–complete with ideas for every week, every worship art. AND there are now several fully-scripted series for Advent and Lent that offer step-by-step help so that your volunteers and congregation can experience the richness of using all the worship arts. Podcasts, webinars, live coaching series, articles and video lessons provide unlimited members from your church with everything needed to take worship to the next level. 

With a special discount from Worship Design Studio and a grant from the Kansas Bible Chair, you will be able to have access to all of the Worship Design Studio materials and special sessions with Dr. McFee for 50% off what other churches pay for a year subscription to Worship Design Studio. 

$149 per church for one year
(that’s the price of a cup of coffee per week… if this is a strain on your worship budget, contact your regional minister to apply for further scholarship money)

 

How to Sign-up:

Þ Step 1: Go to www.worshipdesignstudio.com/wdshome 

Þ Step 2: Click on “Subscribe Here”

Þ Step 3: Fill out your information

Þ Step 4: When you get to the shopping cart page, enter promo code (Contact regional office for code)

Þ Step 5: Complete your purchase

Þ Step 6: Check your e-mail for instructions! That’s it!